Everyone at The Phillips Collection was warm and welcoming. They strongly believe in this play and were proud to have it as part of the series. Coincidentally, this was actually my second involvement with their theatre series. In 2010, Round House Theatre presented scenes from PERMANENT COLLECTION and as dramaturg, I provided them with research.
We had a diverse, intimate and attentive audience. Among them were students from UDC and Howard University as well two graduates from Hampton University. Also, in attendance was George Vrandenburg, who in addition to serving as chairman of the board at The Phillips Collection, also serves on the Board of Trustees at UDC. We were introduced at intermission and immediately discussed the parallels between the events in the THE HAMPTON YEARS and what is happening at UDC. As it happens, this parallel is addressed in detail in a recent interview, 1940s Arts Drama Replays in 2013, that I did with Hill Rag/East of the River reporter Virginia Spatz. In it, Virginia does an excellent job covering what's at stake in the decision to discontinue the Theatre Art program from a variety of perspectives including that of the students, faculty, administration and D.C. council.
As for what's next, we're at that exciting place in new play development process where we need to get the play on it's feet to see how it works in the body and on the stage. With rehearsal beginning in two weeks, we're all pretty eager to get started. I'll do another set of rewrites in the next few days and hope to make a visit out to Hampton University next week. More on that soon! For now, please enjoy this photos from our day together.
The Hampton Years Family at The Phillips Collection
The Hampton Years Artistic Team Hard at Work
Playwright and Director Enjoying the Student Art Exhibit
The Hampton Years Reading at The Phillips Collection
The Hampton Years Post Show Discussion
The Phillips Collection is an exceptional collection of modern and contemporary art in a dynamic environment for collaboration, innovation, engagement with the world, scholarship, and new forms of public participation.
THE HAMPTON YEARS
May 29 - June 30
A World Premiere by Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by Shirley Serotsky
Dramaturgy by Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zoe
Featuring Edward Christian, Sarah Douglas, Crashonda Edwards, Lolita-Marie, Julian Elijah Martinez, Sasha Olinick, Colin Smith, and David Lamont Wilson